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Ways of operating points of sale of New Year flowers
     A spokesman for the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) said today (February 4) that the points of sale (POS) of New Year flowers, set up at the 15 sites originally designated for the Lunar New Year fairs, will be opened from February 6 to February 11. To make anti-epidemic efforts effective, apart from strictly enforcing various anti-epidemic measures, the admission to and exit from POS will be monitored and the footfall at POS controlled with the use of technology, with a view to avoiding the risk of mass gathering and facilitating the public to enter POS in an orderly manner.

     Under the premise of upholding the anti-epidemic principles, the Government has to keep the risk of the sale event of New Year flowers under control. The FEHD spokesman said that the daily operation hours of POS will generally be from 9am to midnight, with the actual opening time depending on factors such as the epidemic situation and the circumstances of individual venues. Footfall at POS will be monitored and managed with the aid of technology, including the use of Infrared Sensing devices for footfall count and when necessary, the activation of a ticketing system requiring the public to take turn to enter the venue with a ticket.

     The spokesman said, "The footfall and the waiting status of the 15 POS will be displayed in a 'Green, Amber and Red Lights' format on site, on FEHD website (www.fehd.gov.hk/english/events/lnyf2021/selling_point.html) and on the Transport Department's HKeMobility app. Green light means few people inside the POS and that ticketing is not required, amber light indicates an increase in footfall and that waiting is required, while red light represents a large number of people awaiting admission and that a longer waiting time would be needed."

     "When the footfall at individual POS increases (in amber or red light), only members of public with a ticket will be admitted to POS. The FEHD will activate the ticketing system which the public may get a ticket on site or obtain an e-ticket through the mobile app which can be downloaded for free. The ticket will be valid only for the day of issue. One may enter POS with the ticket, within 60 minutes after the ticket number is called. Each ticket will cover no more than two persons. Under normal circumstances, ticketing services will cease 45 minutes prior to the closure of POS. The FEHD may also suspend the ticketing services, if the ground situation requires.  If the number of tickets issued exceeds the capacity of POS on that day, the tickets that have yet been exercised will be invalidated," he added.

     To minimise the risk of the sale event of New Year flowers, various anti-epidemic measures will be strictly enforced at all POS. Stall operators and their staff must undergo COVID-19 virus testing within 48 hours before the opening of the points of sale, and must present or submit a negative test result when entering POS prior to the commencement of operation. The FEHD will provide one-off free testing services for stall operators and their staff, and has arranged the testing agency to deliver specimen bottles to them for collecting deep throat saliva samples.

     In addition, stall operators are required by the FEHD to provide a list of staff and their contact information for tracing of confirmed cases and their contacts when necessary. Stall operators are also required to provide sufficient hand sanitisers at their stalls during operation hours. Cleansing sessions will be arranged in the afternoon and evening every day at all POS and each session is estimated to last around an hour, during which the FEHD will conduct cleansing and disinfection at public areas. Stall owners will be responsible for carrying out such work at their own stalls.

     The spokesman said all persons entering POS must observe the ground rules including conducting body temperature screening before entering POS and persons with symptoms will be refused entry. A mask must be worn when entering and within POS, and eating, drinking or smoking are not allowed at POS. The "LeaveHomeSafe" venue QR code will be displayed at the entrance of and inside all POS for members of the public to scan and record their visits. The spokesman also reminded the public to complete their transactions expeditiously and leave the POS after buying New Year flowers to minimise the gathering of people.

     For information on the opening time of individual POS, the ticketing workflow and frequently asked questions, etc., please visit the FEHD website or call the FEHD hotline at 2868 0000.
Ends/Thursday, February 4, 2021
Issued at HKT 23:00
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